Cardinal FG, Southeastern recognized by State Regents’ Partnership Program

Front row, left to right: Bethany Erickson, Coordinator of the Southeastern Center for Regional Economic Development; Kathy Hendrick, Director of the Southeastern Center for Regional Economic Development; Ron Erickson, Cardinal Glass FG; and Dr. Aaron Adair, Southeastern Oklahoma State University Assistant Dean of Distance and Adult Education and Assessment Management System Coordinator. Back row, left to right: Dr. Glen D. Johnson, Chancellor, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education; Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb; and the Honorable Dave Lopez, Secretary of Commerce and Tourism.

DURANT, Okla. – Twenty-six business and higher education partnerships throughout the state were recently recognized for their innovative collaborations that further the education of Oklahoma’s workforce.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Economic Development Grant for the Partnership Recognition Program is designed to highlight successful partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants.

Among the recognized partners were Cardinal FG (Cardinal Glass Industries) of Durant and Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Institutions involved in these partnerships provide $500 for tuition waivers to employees of the partnering businesses; internships for current students of the institutions to work at the partnering businesses; faculty externships with the partnering businesses; and/or enhancement of the partnerships with additional equipment, materials or supplies. The State Regents provide a $500 match to the waivers.

Cardinal has been a strong supporter of the “Real Life Math!” program, where local professionals participate in high school classrooms to help students answer the question, “When will I ever use this in the real world?”

According to Larry Peck, Cardinal human resource executive, this gives Cardinal an opportunity to showcase the company and illustrate the value of learning math, which is used every day in the real world.

Scholarships are also important to Cardinal. Colton’s (Sherrill) Run is an event that honors the son of a Southeastern graduate who died unexpectedly at a University sports camp. The majority of the proceeds benefit a Southeastern scholarship in Colton’s honor. The Miss Southeastern Pageant is another scholarship co-sponsored by Cardinal. The company was also a title sponsor for the first ice skating rink in Durant.

“The Durant community and the University are very fortunate to have partners such as Cardinal,” said Southeastern president Larry Minks. “This is a great example of a company that actively supports its community not only through its economic impact, but through volunteer efforts that enhance the quality of life. Cardinal is most-deserving of this state recognition.”

“When businesses partner with higher education, the regional and state economy wins,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “Oklahoma’s colleges and universities collaborate with businesses to provide customized education and training, and through these efforts, students receive hands-on, career-related experiences that better prepare them for today’s business world. As economic engines, higher education institutions serve as catalysts for generating ideas and business opportunities. Colleges and universities also support health and wellness initiatives through medical centers and recreational facilities that benefit not only the lives of their students but their surrounding communities.